Broadband growth slowing in US, says survey

The rate of broadband adoption is slowing in the US, partly because service providers already have grabbed the easiest converts, a study, quoted by an Associated Press report, said.

The Associated Press report, quoting a study from Pew Internet and American Life Project, said that price reductions and other factors led to 40% growth in adoption from March 2005 to March 2006.

Over the following year, growth was a more modest 12%, the report also said.

'The low-hanging fruit was picked "&brkbar; so you saw a slowdown understandably going to 2007,' John Horrigan, Pew's associate director for research, was quoted by the report as saying. 'You're left with people who are less-intense Internet users. They are likely to be users who aren't processing a lot of bits per month. They don't have the demand for high speed.'

Horrigan, however, said many of the Internet users on dial-up simply can't get high-speed service, particularly in rural areas, the report said.
About 31% of rural Americans have broadband at home, compared with 47% for the general population, the report added.

The Pew study found gains among blacks. Forty percent of black Americans have broadband in the latest study, compared with 14% two years earlier, the report said.

Blacks now trail whites in broadband adoption by one year, that is, the percentage of blacks with broadband now is about the same as the percentage of whites with broadband a year ago. In early 2005, the gap was two years, the reort further said.